College Debaters Win Champs!

March 24, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Regarded as the most prestigious competition of the year, our Premier 1 Debating team (Becky Lane, Rachel Worthington, Arun Prakash) talked up a storm to win the Russell McVeigh debating championships over the weekend. Students enter this competition keenly knowing that this event is used to select speakers for the Auckland Development Squad and to pick the Auckland Regional team.

The College had two teams in the competition. Premier 2 (Sarah Courtney, Keshini Ketheeswaran, Jamie Hofer) performed very well on the Saturday, winning two out of four debates, but lost crucially in the last of the heats by a narrow margin to Epsom Girls Grammar.

Premier 1, however, was undefeated on Saturday, winning all four debates to finish ranked first on the opening day of competition. The following morning, the team defeated St Cuthbert’s College in the quarter final and then Kings College in the semi-final - in a hard-fought debate against the banning of plastic surgery.

This win placed the team in the grand final against  Auckland Grammar with the moot, ‘this house would abolish the 5% minimum support threshold required by political parties.’ A high level of content knowledge was demonstrated by both teams, who had only 30 minutes to prepare before each speaker presented eight minutes of argument with the College team negating the motion. The result was a clear victory to our Premier 1 Debating team.

We are delighted that Becky Lane (Year 12) was named in a development squad for promising speakers and will go on to train under expert coaching this year. Both Arun Prakash (Year 13) and Rachel Worthington (Year 12) were named in the Auckland Regional team, which will train throughout the year and go on to compete against other regional teams around New Zealand. This represents the highest possible level of attainment in secondary school debating.

This is a fabulous achievement for Senior School debaters. Our thanks to the coaches, Mr Jesse Hart and Mr Chris Hodder.

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